Sufi Music of India and Pakistan: Sound, Context and Meaning in Qawwali (Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology)

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9780521267670: Sufi Music of India and Pakistan: Sound, Context and Meaning in Qawwali (Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology)
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Regula Burckhardt Qureshi's study carefully describes and documents the performance and rules of this music in the traditional Sufi assembly. Through the ritual of sama, the profound belief system and its powerful articulation through mystical poetry in three languages (Farsi, Hindi, Urdu), Qureshi explores the social and economic relationships between Sufi listeners and musicians.

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For the Sufis of India and Pakistan, the Qawwali songs are 'food for the soul', a means of attaining union with God, the ecstatic culmination of mystical experience. Regula Burckhardt Qureshi's study carefully describes and documents the performance of this music in the traditional Sufi assembly, the ritual of sama', first presenting the rich musical repertoire of Qawwali song, and then exploring everything else that is relevant to an understanding of the ritual: the profound belief system and its powerful articulation through mystical poetry in three languages (Farsi, Hindi, Urdu), the social and economic relationships between Sufi listeners and musicians, and, finally, all the specific rules governing the making of and listening to Qawwali in the Sufi assembly. All this leads up to a moment-by-moment account of actual Qawwali performances where the interplay between the musical sound and the diverse and often dramatic audience responses is described and analysed by the author.

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